American Pulitzer Prize winning poet Carl Sandburg is quoted as saying, “Nearly all the best things that came to me in life came unexpected, unplanned by me.” And while I must admit that I am quite the renaissance man at heart, I know as a business owner and leader that while pleasant surprises are nice, I can’t rely on them to fuel our business.

OK, Mike. Cartoon characters, artists, and now poets? Remember this is about my sales?!

Enter: Verne Troyer and Velma Dinkley

For those of you who don’t know, or aren’t old enough to remember, a quick note on these two characters. Verne Troyer was best known for his role in Austin Powers as Mini-Me. And Velma Dinkley claimed her fame with her one-word exclamation “Jinkies!” in the Scooby-Doo series created by Hanna-Barbera.

So why these two “V’s”, and how do they pertain to consistent sales or improve the sales team? Simply put, they were different. Mr. Troyer took his condition at birth and turned into not only a bustling acting career but choose to make millions of people laugh in the process by choosing the roles he chose. And as for Ms. Dinkley (yes, I know she’s a technically a figment of imagination), well, she chose to engage her wits and her smarts despite the very stereotypical 70’s era in our country.

Here’s what else. Both of them chose to take their given situations and contribute to a greater cause, despite what others thought of them or what stereotypes exist in the world – spoken or silent. I’d encourage you to consider the following takeaway. Sometimes the people we expect it from the least surprise us in ways that benefit us the most. I know hiring and keeping good salespeople is challenging, but I know in my own years as a leader, I’ve underestimated some talent that came aboard (overestimated some, too) and I’ve probably not taken the chances I should have on some because they didn’t fit a certain ideal I had created. Shame on me for being so short-sighted.

What I can say is that I hope this little reminder allows you to look for the best in people where others might not. And to pay attention to the different – it may just be the best addition to your team you ever make.

#PutPeopleFirst                #RaiseAllShips                   #EagleONECares

P.S. Be sure to join us next week when we talk about the 3 W’s – Webinars, Wellness, Word of Mouth